What I bought: The factory-refurbished Samsung LN-S4695D 46" 1080p Widescreen LCD HD Television for $1,399.99 (now $1,449.99) from Second Act, a sweet deal when I ordered it back in August.
How I got it: Having no vehicle in New York City, I opted for front-door delivery over local pickup. Four days after placing my order I got a message from Second Act's delivery company to schedule the drop-off. When I called back just after 5 pm ET, my call went to voicemail and the mailbox was full. (Don't ya just hate that!) We eventually connected, but it was a chore.
The verdict: The picture is fantastic. I've got HD programming through Time Warner Cable and the image is brilliant. My TV back home is a Sony Bravia XBR 40" LCD TV (720p) that I bought over a year ago. This TV is better. The colors are perfect, the contrasts are sharp. You can count each hair in Jason Lee's mustache on My Name Is Earl.
While the picture quality is brilliant, the case is marred by shallow scratches. This is my second TV from Second Act, and the first one (a 32" Samsung LCD) looked essentially new. However, this unit clearly had been installed in someone's home –- there was some marring on the back of the unit where it had been installed on a wall-mount kit. Additionally, this TV wasn't packed very carefully, so the scratches may have occurred during transit. Bummer.
Since I'm pretty
lazy busy, I didn't call Second Act to inform them of the scratches and discuss a replacement. So I can't say what they'd do if I complained. But I can say that I certainly wouldn't pay to ship it back. The fact is that the TV was at a wicked price and the picture quality is superb. Because of the glossy finish of the TV cabinet the scratches are only noticeable when the room is brightly lit or when I'm up close. Even so, the scratches stole some of my joy with this deal.
A friend recommended that I try AppleSauce Polish to smooth out the case. It's supposed to remove scratches and blemishes from iPods with plastic cases, a material that's very similar to this Samsung TV's cabinet.
dealpad is an ongoing series of product and store reviews by Dan de Grandpre, Chief Dealguy at dealnews. The "dealpad" is Dan's new apartment in NYC, where virtually every item was bought via a deal from dealnews.com.